The winners of best and worst aid fundraising videos of 2017

The winners of best and worst aid fundraising videos of 2017

A video with Ed Sheeran made by Comic Relief is awarded the most offensive fundraising advert of 2017. The most prestigious prize went to War Child Holland. Both winners have responded to the award.

Thursday night the winners of this year's Radi-Aid Awards, organized by the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH), were announced at the official live streaming on Radi-Aid’s facebook page.

The winner of the Rusty Radiator Award, which is given to the most offensive and stereotypical fundraising video of the year, was Comic Relief’s video with Ed Sheeran meeting street kids in Liberia.

“This is a video about Ed Sheeran. It’s literally poverty tourism”, says the jury about the film.

Watch the live show here.

Responding to the criticism

The winner was closely followed by the two other nominees, both from Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC), which raises cash for 13 major UK aid groups. The nominations have received wide international media coverage. CEO of Comic Relief, Liz Warner, also responded to the critique in The GuardianDeutsche Welle TV og Reuters.

Their response to winning the prize, is as follows:

“The Radi-Aid Awards rightly challenge organisations like Comic Relief to be as responsible, fresh and relevant as possible when conveying our issues. That’s a challenge we have always tried to meet and will continue to do so, perhaps now with a little extra energy. We are all actually on the same side – of working to fight inequality and injustice in the world. We can certainly learn from the views raised by the Radi-Aid Awards. There’s always a balance between the passion for raising money to support real projects changing real people’s lives and how those people are represented. It’s important people are given their own voice and given the opportunity to tell their own story. We’re grateful to Ed Sheeran for his time and commitment, to the people who’ve given money and to the people who run the projects we support. And we really hope that we don’t win this award again. Thank you."

- For SAIH it’s a good sign that the criticism has come through, and that both organizations will review their standards in their further work. This is exactly what we want to achieve with our awards, said Beathe Øgård, President of SAIH.

Screenshot War Child Batman

The organisation War Child Holland is winner of the Golden Radiator 2017, with the film "Batman". Photo: Screenshot. 

Showing the true heroes

In the Golden Radiator Award category, the video “Batman” by War Child Holland won the prize, closely followed by the nominees Save the Children USA, Oaktree/Ba Futuru and Rescue:Freedom. This prize is given to the most nuanced, inspiring, and solution-oriented fundraising video.

“What a powerful video! Effective humanitarian crisis imagery”, said the jury about the winner.

- We are very excited that we’ve won the Golden Radiator Award. Batman is a big hero for many, but the little boy “Kadar”, his father and friends really made the magic of the movie, said Veronique Hoogendoorn, Director of Marketing, Communication & Fundraising at War Child Holland in a video greeting shown at the awards ceremony.

Debating fundraising communication

SAIH started the awards in 2013. An international jury has selected the final nominees, while winners are awarded through open voting online. During the last four years, the jury has witnessed an increasing number of examples on creative and engaging fundraising videos.

Both the awards and SAIH’s satire videos have received wide attention internationally, and the annual campaign has spawned a renewed public debate about fundraising communication within the NGO sector.

The jury’s comment on the Golden Radiator Award winner:

"What a powerful video! Our heroes are never too far away from us. They give us strength, hope, peace and the drive to strive for the best. One thing this video did a really good job of was showing the kid as a kid. The children are dependent on their parents/guardians. Effective humanitarian crisis imagery."

The jury’s comment on the Rusty Radiator Award winner:

“This is a video is about Ed Sheeran. It’s literally poverty tourism. The video should be less about Ed shouldering the burden alone but rather appealing to the wider world to step in. Massive improvement in the end. But is Ed Sheeran willing to pay for the boy's housing forever? What an irresponsible thing to do, and for this video to glorify that is terrible.”

For more information about the jury, the nominees and the awards, visit

Contact information:

President, SAIH
Beathe Øgård
+ 47 95 03 17 19

Press contact, SAIH
Kristin Marie Skaar
+ 47 95 97 29 59

Read more:

Sommercamp 2023

Sommercamp 2023

Welcome to SAIH's summer camp, June 8 - 11. Activists from the whole country will gather for a fun weekend filled with workshops and activism. Don`t forget to sign up!